Smart BIM Trees - From Design Drawing to Construction Site


I presented this topic at the Landscape Architecture Construction International Conference - Design and Construction with Information (School of Architecture, Tsinghua University) December 2019. Trees (and other plants) are one of the most important domain-specific objects in landscape design. They are poorly supported in the current BIM environment as the mostly provided by RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) objects. RPC content focuses on rendering but doesn't provide support for clash detection (no envelope, no roots) or provide data for other disciplines (e.a. weight for structure engineering, water consumption for irrigation). They also don't reflect the dynamic character of plants (growth).

In the first part of the presentation, I focussed on a step by step implementation of a prototype BIM tree driven by data. In a visual programming environment (Dynamo) I explained the modeling of a tree envelope (crown, trunk, and root system)by a small parameter set. I also implemented parametric growth functions into the 3D model and pulled then the parameters from a database.

In the second part, I showed an implementation in Civil 3D. With a plug-in, I can create and read QR codes. Construction teams can identify a tree by his attached code and his position on-site by a mobile app.